Words: Damon Cooper
A Bramley gymnastics club is offering free online classes during lockdown.
Bring a friend week has long been a feature of Gymnastics Elite where members can invite someone else along for free to join them for stretching and exercise classes.
The club posted on Facebook:
“We would like you to invite a friend (as many as you like) to one of our online zoom sessions. This person doesn’t have to be a gymnast/sporty they can be anyone that you think might enjoy a bit of exercise. Ask them to use the same details you use to log in”
Gymnastics Elite is also offering free weekly fitness and strength sessions for parents, which has been a hit since launching an energetic first class in January.
These are held every Wednesday from 7pm till 7.30pm for anyone who wants to sweat, stretch and work on those handstand shapes with head coach Tanya Cooper.
Closure of sports facilitates to fight Covid19 has hit many local clubs hard but this Bramley based gymnastics community has found a way forward with fundraisers, online classes and even a partnership with a marketing company which raised £1,000 by hosting a quiz covering digital technology.
The highlight was when 30 people associated with Gymnastics Elite conquered Yorkshire’s Three Peaks and raised £3,285 – plus 50% match funding from Sport England.
“60,000 steps completed and more than 3,000 calories burnt yesterday, knees and hips are sore this morning but my heart is full of love. Thank you again to everyone who walked with us, supported us and sponsored us,” the club shared after the trek.
Having moved to Sheffield in recent years, the head coach initially did lessons in her living room during lockdowns with beloved Golden Retriever Nala joining in – but has since hired a small studio closer to home after frustration with shared broadband and kicking furniture.
The club was initially founded in Farsley in the mid-noughties, with just a floor mat as its only inventory. But a growth in membership saw them move into a bigger facility at Lower Westfield House on Broad Lane in 2017. Prior to lockdown, Gymnastics Elite representatives met with Bramley and Stanningley councillors Kevin Richie, Caroline Gruen and Julie Heselwood to discuss either finding funds to expand the current building or source somewhere else.
While recreational activity is the heart of the facility, it also boasts people who have coached at City of Liverpool Gymnastics Club and had trained with Pudsey Olympic bronze medal gymnast Nile Wilson. The coached its own gymnasts to gold medals in competitions.